Publisher’s guide to video advertising

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Publisher’s guide to video advertising

Due to a great number of formats and the viewers’ attention focused on image, digital video advertising gives the publishers a chance to increase revenues from advertising space. Creating an effective strategy for video monetization is only possible with the right method, accurate measurement and optimization. How to do it? The answer is to be found in the following article.

Video advertising is often marginalized due to a low level of income that it generates on websites. However, with every year, this format is more often included in budgets and utilized by publishers. Marketing specialists allocated for it over 9 billion dollars in 2017. It is 2 billion more than in the previous year and over 4 billion more than in 2015.

In addition, the latest IAB research shows that the popularity of video advertising on the Internet among publishers is entering a new stage of grandness. The study involved 385 agencies that spend more than one billion dollars on digital advertising annually. As it turned out, 45% of their expenses on video advertising relate to services purchased using programmatic model.

Various faces of video

Digital video advertising is divided into two categories: linear and non-linear. The first one appears before, during, or after the video is displayed. In turn, the non-linear format coincides with the displayed video content, which means that the message appears along with the video.

In-stream is a type of video that is displayed before (pre-roll), during (mid-roll) or after watching the video on the publisher’s page (post-roll). Depending on the settings of ads and player, the video can be turned off, but not always. Recently, Google has introduced 7-second videos on YouTube, with no option to skip them. In-stream may generate higher income than other formats. On the other hand, this format is very often blocked by adblock extensions.

Out-stream – this unit uses the locations of formats already placed on website and displays its own video replacing them. This format is not limited to video, but involves e.g. text content or social media. There are various types of out-stream ad units, including:

  • In-banner – instead of graphics, the video is displayed on a banner.
  • In-article – the video is placed amid text content on the page.
  • Native – a type of video that aims to convey a specific story, contrary to those that are product or service oriented.
  • Interstitial – a full-screen ad type to which the user is transferred after clicking on specific content.

Out-stream ads are by 25% more often displayed than the in-stream type. However, it should be remembered that for some Internet users this ad format can be annoying. With this in mind, publishers and advertisers need to think carefully about the strategy – whether to place out-stream on their website and which group of users the message should be addressed to.

Video costs

While making money on the content of video ads, it is necessary to learn about calculations and prices, but also to compare the sources of monetization and determine their profitability. The definitions of billing for ads provided here come from IAB, however, it is recommended to double check each pricing model for ad networks. Various companies can have different approach to this subject and distinct views on the issue of visibility.

Header bidding

A debatable topic in regard to programmatic advertising is still header bidding, which brings huge profits to publishers. It should come as no surprise that the purchase of space in the header bidding model for other formats, including video, is slowly becoming the norm. Bidding in video format has many features in common with the traditional header bidding definition taken from graphic ads.

In this case, publishers can get access to multiple sources of demand and eliminate the old method of acquiring advertising resources (waterfall) to generate maximum profit. This process usually takes place in the website’s code, but the video displayed on the page does not contain its tags. However, video bidding process can be implemented using smart coding in the website’s tags to attract even more advertisers.

Trends in video advertising in 2017

Recently, Time has developed a new video ad unit for its platform – out-stream, that is to increase income and add new revenue opportunities for the company. The ad unit is called Adapt and uses native advertising solutions, DoubleClick. It is a growing trend in video advertising, which may even triple the company’s profits. This shows that information about increasing spending on advertising is not a rumor, but a fact, especially when premium brands such as Time devote time and money to develop their own advertising technology.

According to a study carried out by, there are several channels that will gain popularity in programmatic video advertising in the future. At the forefront there are, among others:

  • Advertising on mobile devices: the usage of video on mobile devices has already largely exceeded the one on desktop devices, which is why spending on it will continue to grow. It is estimated that spending on mobile advertising in 2020 is going to increase to 13 billion dollars.
  • Native advertising: as in the case of the above-mentioned mobile advertising, the increase in the popularity of this format is inevitable. The main advantage of native advertising is the fact that it is not blocked by various AdBlock extensions, unlike traditional formats.
  • Location-based advertising: thanks to the possibility of targeting in terms of location, programmatic offers plenty of benefits. Advertisers can address their ads in real time to a specific group of recipients and, additionally, to the recipients staying in a specific place.


Considering the fact that the video content absorbs the Internet and remains a medium that attracts the attention of users, it can be safely said that this is a trend that will be long remembered not only by advertisers and publishers, but also by users.

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